IN her column this week Hereford Racecourse Chief Executive Rebecca Davies said: "One of the recent projects at Hereford Racecourse over the summer has been the refurbishment of an unused building into a new outdoor bar.

"Positioned adjacent to the horse walk and overlooking the finishing line it is a tremendous asset to the racecourse, serving a selection of Courage beers, and stylishly designed to become a destination meeting point on race days.

"When considering a name for it, we wanted to reflect and acknowledge the history and heritage of the racecourse. Major Philip Verdin, universally known to many as ‘Major’, was Chairman of Hereford Racecourse for 28 years from 1971 – 1999.

"Under his leadership two grandstands were developed, the Paddock Bar extended, a ring main for watering installed and the number of racecourse fixtures increased to 17. There can have been few, if any, more influential people involved with Hereford Racecourse than The Major.

"He also had a distinguished career in the army under the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards Cavalry Regiment. Sent to France in 1939 Major Verdin was blown up, twice, and nearly died losing an eye and lung amongst other injuries. Once recuperated he had the option to stand down but returned to regiment to train for D Day. He landed at H Hour +1. During WW II he was awarded the Military Cross and in 1951 left the Army on medical advice due to his injuries to lead an outside life, returning to Herefordshire to farm.

"In 1997 Major Verdin was awarded an OBE for Services to Herefordshire. He passed away peacefully at home in 2007 aged 89.

"The Verdin family remain tremendous supporters of the Racecourse, with a real and active interest and only last week The Major’s wife telephoned me for a chat and update on our reservoir.

"We feel honoured and privileged that Major Verdin’s family have kindly allowed us to name this new bar The Major in his honour, and look forward to welcoming them to our next raceday on Monday, November 5, when his wife, Mrs Philip Verdin, will officially open The Major.

"For those looking to come racing on November 5, it is Locals Raceday which offers any residents or businesses with an HR postcode two for one tickets in advance online.

"With the money saved on admission, why not put it towards a table in the popular Rusty Bridge restaurant and treat yourself to the ultimate raceday experience!"